Mark Bridge writes:
There are times I feel like turning my back on the mobile phone industry and joining a monastery. That’s probably not going to happen, given the monks’ tradition of not admitting wives. But yesterday was another of those frustrating occasions. Let me tell you why.
Poor old RIM. It’s been through a rough patch. In fact, it’s in a rough patch right now. BlackBerry sales haven’t been going as well as expected.
So what’s it going to do?
It’s planning “to refocus on the enterprise business”. That’s the phrase CEO Thorsten Heins used. He said the company can’t be all things to all people, so it’ll build on its strengths and go after targeted consumer segments. It’s likely to scale back its consumer-oriented value-added services business.
And it’s going to stop selling phones to consumers.
Oh, hang on, no. No, he didn’t say that.
So why did we end up with headlines reading BlackBerry firm quits consumer race and BlackBerry giving up on the consumer market, along with news stories asking “I've just agreed a 24-month contract. Will I be affected?”.
I can only guess. People being in a hurry to write a story, people looking for an online headline that’ll generate plenty of clicks, people not bothering to read the announcement or listen to what Mr Heins actually said...
...and perhaps RIM should have made things clearer. Anyway, it now has.
The company has issued a statement that says “To be really clear, we are fully committed to the consumer market. In fact, we are aggressively focusing on delivering a unique and compelling user experience to all of our customers to enhance the way people engage, produce content, and manage data via mobile computing.”
It goes on to say RIM will be focussing on parts of the consumer market where BlackBerry excels, commenting that it’s uniquely positioned to deliver a smartphone for personal and professional use.
Which is pretty much what it said in the first place.